Tal Herzberg, farewell friend!
We played together in the Israeli Air Force Orchestra during our compulsory national service. Tal was a bassist and sat to my left. We once assembled on the tarmac to play welcoming music for visiting dignitaries, and I remember the sun glinting off of Tal’s head in the afternoon heat. Yeah, even as a 19-year old he had the tough Bruce Willis bald look going on. Active duty in the military is no picnic, even for the lucky ones like us who were assigned to band duty. Tal was referred to as “the union boss” during those years because he looked out for our welfare; he wasn’t afraid to approach our crazy C.O. to advocate for our dignity and the other essentials – such as more water.
He told the funniest, dirtiest jokes too, and in general he kept our spirits up during the toughest times.
Tal emigrated to the US in 1992 and he loved his life in Los Angeles. Before taking the plung into engineering and producing some of today’s top artists, he was full-time employee of a company called Waves, and worked hard demoing their audio products throughout the industry. I’m kind of in a fog right now. We spoke less than two weeks ago, and I keep asking myself: “Are you sure he’s dead? Maybe this is a hoax.” Many people spend their lives running after the material world, Tal dedicated himself to music. Moments like these, put life in perspective – His life has been cut short, but his achievements are more than many people dream of. His death is not only a personal loss, it is a tragic loss to his close family, and it is a loss to the music world.
It is ironic and sad to note that on this very day, here in the U.S.A, the national cancer research budget has been greatly reduced. I’m making a donation to cancer research in Tal’s name and I encourage everybodoy to give what they can.